Keanu Reeves's suit gets darker as the movie progresses. It starts as a light color and then goes through increasingly dark shades of gray. By the end of the movie, his suit is black. This is indicative of his character's decreasing morality throughout the movie.
The outdoor patio in John Milton's office, actually was on the fiftieth floor of a New York City building. The actual stage was eight feet away from the edge of the building. Thus what one would imagine is a bluescreen shot, is real.
Originally, the film was a more visual effects oriented, blockbuster-type movie, and was turned down by Al Pacino five times. But when Taylor Hackford went through a few script re-writes, he offered it to Pacino again. Pacino liked it, but didn't think he could portray Milton properly, and suggested Sir Sean Connery or Robert Redford instead.
The boxing match that Lomax and Milton attend was not a staged bout, but in fact a legitimate world championship boxing match. The bout occurred on October 4, 1996, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Roy Jones, Jr., IBF super-middleweight champion, squared off against top contender Bryant Brannon. Jones knocked out Brannon during the second round of the bout.
The character of John Milton is named for John Milton, the author of "Paradise Lost," the classic epic poem about man's fall from God's grace. When Lomax is in Milton's office at the end of the film, he says "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven," from Book I Line 263 of the same work.
(Now the 45th President of the United States) Donald J. Trump's private residential multi-level apartment at Trump Tower was used as the character Alex Cullen's home. Trump's landmark gold decor, and classic view of Central Park, provide a familiar New York City backdrop.
Sculptor Frederick Hart and the Episcopal National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., sued Warner Brothers over a sculpture that appears in the film, and closely resembles Hart's "Ex Nihilo", which is situated above Milton's desk in his apartment. Warner Bros. agreed to edit the scenes for future releases. Some videos of the film had already been made, so they attached stickers to them, prior to sale, stating that there was no relation between the sculpture in the film, and Hart's work.
The line Milton says to Kevin about how "there are more people in law school than there are lawyers on the whole planet" was also spoken in the movie St. Elmo's Fire (1985) by Andrew McCarthy's character, Kevin.
According to the director's commentary on the DVD, after they finished filming Daniel Oreskes's scene in which he coughs violently for several minutes, the entire cast and crew broke out into applause.
John Milton (Al Pacino) is heard and shown speaking several different languages to show that Satan (like evil) knows no boundaries. Also, a figure of ultimate evil is common in all religions worldwide.
Including the Gettys case, Kevin Lomax has won 64 cases before coming to New York City. After coming to New York City, he wins two more cases, bringing his total to 66, a possible reference to the "Number of the Beast," 666.
Lomax and Milton run into Don King at the bout. King was in attendance that night, because one of the fighters he promoted at the time, Oba Carr, fought on the undercard of the Roy Jones, Jr.-Bryant Brannon bout. Carr lost a 12-round decision to WBA welterweight champion Ike Quartey.
Near the end of the movie, Keanu Reeves appears to be walking down a totally empty Fifth Avenue, without cars or people. This scene was victim of a certain polemic due to Open Your Eyes (1997), where its main actor, Eduardo Noriega, appears in a too empty Madrid's Gran Vía, creating a doubt about which of the two scenes was copied (or plagiarized) of the other.
Each time Mary Ann (Charlize Theron) tries a different color of green on the apartment walls, only to be discouraged by her "friend" Jackie (Tamara Tunie), Jackie is wearing some article of clothing or jewelry that is the exact same shade of green.
After the party at the Barzoon's apartment, the lawyers meet at Milton's to discuss the Cullen case. Milton asks Heath how many hours they billed Cullen for last year, to which Heath replies "16,242". If you average, 16,000 divided by 24 hours in a day, is 666.666667. 666 of course, is the number of the devil.
When Milton is negotiating with Lomax near the end of the film, he tells him "I'm just getting warmed up." This is a quote from a previous Pacino film, Scent of a Woman (1992), in which Pacino's character also says the line, much to the approval of the audience.